First Nations Heritage
Protection Alliance

First Nations Heritage Protection Alliance

First Nations Peoples' Cultural Heritage is Australia's Cultural Heritage

Protect and Celebrate Our Cultural Heritage

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples are the custodians of an unbroken cultural legacy spanning many millennia. The rich stories of the people and the landscapes of this country make Australia unique. First Nations' cultural heritage tells the story of our past, present, and future.

Every day in Australia First Nations' cultural heritage is being damaged, displaced, or disturbed. The destruction of the 46,000-year-old Juukan Caves by Rio Tinto horrified the world but was not an isolated occurrence nor was it illegal.

The laws to protect First Nations' cultural heritage in Australia are broken – urgent reforms are required.

First Nations Cultural Heritage

Why heritage matters?

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People are the custodians of an unbroken cultural legacy spanning many millennia. The rich stories of the people, the culture and connection to country make Australia unique.

First Nation’s heritage tells the story of our past, present and future.

Wadumbah Aboriginal Dance Group – Perth

Cultural Heritage Reform

What we're working on today

Commonwealth and state legislation across Australia is failing to adequately protect First Nations cultural heritage.

Current laws focus more on regulating the destruction of sites and artefacts than properly valuing and protecting heritage.

Dhawura Ngilan best practice

The Dhawura Ngilan Vision

A vision for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage in Australia and the Best Practice Standards for Indigenous Cultural Heritage management and legislation.

The name Dhawura Ngilan (Remembering Country) reflects the deeply emotional and spiritual connection to the environment which is at the heart of country that ensures continual systems are sustainable. It reflects all aspects of life including relationships to all living beings and objects that share the spirit of our ancestors and have kinship with us.

Dhawura Ngilan Business & Investor Initiative

The Dhawura Ngilan Business and Investor Initiative brings together First Nations, business and investor organisations, and is focused on strengthening Australia’s First People’s heritage laws and standards for the private sector to uphold the human rights of First Peoples​​.

Celebrating Mabo Day

30 years of Native Title

The First Nations Heritage Protection Alliance honours patriarch of Native Title Dr Eddie Mabo. On 3 June 1992, six of the seven judges agreed that a group of Torres Strait Islanders, led by Eddie Mabo, held traditional ownership of the lands of Mer (Murray Island). The decision led to the passing of the Native Title Act 1993, providing the framework for all Australian Indigenous people to make claims of native title. This landmark decision gave rise to important native title legislation the following year rendering terra nullius legal fiction.

Embracing Cultural Heritage

First Nations Peoples' Cultural Heritage is Australia's Cultural Heritage

Australia’s past is complex and often defined by conflict. But as a modern nation, we can all be proud of First Nations culture that is so deeply embedded in this place we all call home. It is time to celebrate and protect our unique heritage as one.

First Nations’ cultural heritage is 65,000 years of culture and history that must be protected for all future generations, for all Australians and people the world over.

The damage to Indigenous cultural heritage is a systemic issue. The laws and policies in place to protect Aboriginal cultural heritage are for the most part woefully inadequate – focused more on the regulation to facilitate destruction than the protection of heritage.

We urge and invite people from all backgrounds and all sections of Australian society to gather and support our call to collectively celebrate and protect Australia’s cultural heritage.

Our Partners

Who we work with


The protection of First Nation’s cultural heritage is a responsibility shared by all Australians. The Alliance is seeking to work with First Nations groups, Governments and the private sector to create much needed reforms to the legislation, policies and practices around cultural heritage protection.

The Newsroom

Read the latest news, opinions and updates on Cultural Heritage Protection

Why did McGowan shuffle so many ministers?

Analysis: Aboriginal leader Kado Muir has publicly asked a question.

New WA Aboriginal heritage act leaves final say on cultural site protection with minister

A final decision on whether Aboriginal cultural sites in Western.

Indigenous Australians given say on new cultural protection laws

CANBERRA, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) — Indigenous groups from around Australia.

Historic partnership to empower First Nations self-determination over cultural heritage legislation

The Federal Government and the First Nations Heritage Protection Alliance.

Meet our Alliance Members